FEB, 2015 - COMMENTARY ON THE MEDICAL INNOVATIONS BILL PAGE 6 (5)
(Based on the article thereon posted by “Sticky Scissors” in Below the Lion 19th Feb 2014)
The Bill is often quoted in media as "legalising the use of cannabis" This is not true...
As per the above copy the bill refers to “cannabinoids” the complex molecular components of the plant, not the Cannabis plant itself.
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D. Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus), Harvard Medical School describes this well. “There are presently some states which are in the process of enacting medical marijuana legislation which would restrict the legal availability of cannabis to the single cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) a policy which makes little sense.
CBD is one of the more than 60 cannabinoids in the plant but it is, in itself, not nearly as useful as a medicine. The most useful medical strains are those which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD in the presence of terpinoids.” A similar principle applies here.
He describes how, due to the complexity of the molecular structures and the complex interaction between the many active components, and indeed the manner in which the human body synthesises them via the endo-cannabanoid system, it makes little sense to alter the raw plant through pharmaceutical beneficiation.
Indeed, although there are numerous legal synthetic pharmaceutical Cannabinoidal drugs already available, they are not effective whereas the raw plant, and its most basic extracts e.g. oil containing THC and CBD, are highly effective.
These are the naturally derived medicines (which we can learn to make ourselves if we choose to) that are currently curing cancer and controlling epilepsy, as well as inummerable other medical conditions. Moreover, millions of people are benefitting medicinally from simply smoking the cured flowers/buds.
The smoking of Cannabis alone has been show to create a reduced risk (less than 1%) of lung complications than even non-smokers. The risk for tobacco smokers is 2000 x higher.
How come then did Mr. Ambrosini and Mr. Stransham-Ford choose to use the word “Cannabinoids” here? And how on earth can Cannabinoids be used “for beneficial commercial and industrial use”? These do not even fall under the domain of the Medical Innovations Bill.
The way pharmaceutical companies work is to take a plant/substance with medicinal properties, extract the effective ingredient at great cost, synthesise it and then market it as medicine, preferably a Scheduled drug. There are huge profits to be made from cornering the market in Cannabis and excluding the pioneers of these treatments none of whom are doctors.
“Mr. Stransham –Ford”, as well as being co-author of the Medical Innovations Bill, is leading the Constitutional Challenge to “legalise cannabis” via the “Dagga Couple” and “Fields of Green for All”. All three have been linked to a company called Plandai-Biotechnology via telephone calls, documentary exchange and secret meetings.
"Plandai purportedly owns assets in Mpumalanga and have been granted a massive loan from the Land Bank (“$100mm Rand ($13mm at the time but now $10mm) borrowing from the Land and Agriculture Bank of South Africa”) as well as reported loans from the Dept. of Trade and Industries. They claim to be producing “green tea” extract and have openly declared their intention to “navigate the complex Cannabis Laws in South Africa”.
“The company also shared financial projections based on sales at prices from $400/kg for 120 tons in FY13 ramping to 180 tons at $600/kg in FY17. The resulting sales and net income projections were $48mm and $21.6mm in FY13 to $108mm and $40.7mm in FY17. The company also posted a brochure to its website in 2012, with promises of “income of $27,000,000 in 2012-2013, accelerating within 5 years of inception to $90,000,000 +”, which was wildly off-the-mark, at least so far. Not only were the numbers clearly wrong, but they appear to be in conflict with the SEC-filed 8-K described above. The 10-Q filed for the quarter ending 12/31/11 projected “The Company will also continue developing products using its bioavailable green tea extract with plans to have market-ready product within 12 months.”
To date, there have been no green tea extract products sold. To date satisfactory explanation as to the purpose of their dealings with Plandai has not been received. An entire dossier is available regarding this, the information being too much to present here.
The Bill is proposed on the incorrect premise that “Under current legislation medical practitioners are legally denied the right to prescribe...cannabis"
This is not true. Medical practitioners have always been allowed to prescribe Cannabis and patients still have access to apply via the Medicines Control Council under the Directorship of Pharmacologist Joey Gouws. To date there are a reported 4000 odd license applications outstanding because “there is no protocol for their issue”. Patients already have legal access to treatment with the Cannabis plant via doctors – this access is simply not being granted.
When approached about the question of patents the pat answer is...
"cannabis, a plant that’s in the public domain, can’t be patented". Although that is actually true, it hasn't stopped big companies from registering patents to monopolise the use of Cannabis as medicine.
SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - Apr 28, 2014) - "Plandaí Biotechnology, Inc. (OTCQB: PLPL), a producer of highly bioavailable plant extracts for industries including health, wellness, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical, today announced it has filed a petition with the Attorney General from the South African Department of Health to obtain a license permitting the company to commence clinical research on the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis. The petition was made pursuant to Section 22A (9) of the Medicines and Related Substances Act No. 101 of 1965, which provides for pharmaceutical research with cannabis."
“Plandaí's live-plant extraction process recovers phytonutrients from plant material in a mainly nano particle form and rearranges the antioxidants (polyenes) into a format bio-compatible with humans and animals. In addition, through Plandaí's agreement with North West University, South Africa, the company holds the world license to the Pheroid® patented entrapment system to deliver protected Phytofare™ antioxidants to the white blood cells.”
Now, all the medicine is perfectly bioavailable in the raw flower, and it is perfectly easy to extract in concentrated form, so the question of how come all this expensive beneficiation is even necessary in the first place leads to the most obvious answer! Profit and control.
Many believe that "government was not funding research". This too is absolutley not true.
“Many of those who staunchly defend sustaining the prohibition against marijuana believe we do not yet know enough about cannabis to be able to make the kinds of decisions which are now necessary. Despite the US government’s three-quarter century-long prohibition of marijuana and its confinement to Schedule 1, it is nonetheless one of the most studied therapeutically active substances in history. At this time a keyword search on PebMed reveals that there are over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, and the number is growing almost exponentially; half of them were published within the past five years. Over 1,400 peer-reviewed papers were published in 2013 alone.” Dr. Lester Grinspoon.
Sufficient research has been done to warrant the legitimate domestic use of the Cannabis plant as medicine.
The Bill also proposes "one or more research hospitals where medical innovation can take place"
Medical innovation has been taking place globally by the very same people who have been criminalised and victimised for their work. The Medical Innovations Bill is not an attempt to make the medicinal use of Cannabis legal, it is an attempt by the Corporate Pharmaceutical/Medical world to hijack the medicinal use of Cannabis using our legal system.
Please note, the shareholders of these companies are NOT medical professionals, they are wealthy businessmen.
The Bill also provides for a "dispensation that would only permit doctors in research hospitals that are authorized by the Minister of Health to prescribe and administer cannabis based medicine”
This is not necessary. The research has been done. The results speak for themselves. “It is also clear that the realities of human need are incompatible with the demand for a legally enforceable distinction between medicine and all other uses of cannabis. Marijuana simply does not conform to the conceptual boundaries established by twentieth-century institutions. It is truly a sui generis substance; is there another relatively non-toxic drug which is capable of heightening many pleasures, has a large and growing number of medical uses and has the potential to enhance some individual capacities?
The only workable way of realizing the full potential of this remarkable substance, including its full medical potential, is to free it from the present dual set of regulations - those that control prescription drugs in general and the special criminal laws that control psychoactive substances. These mutually reinforcing laws establish a set of social categories that strangle its uniquely multifaceted potential. The only way out is to cut the knot by giving marihuana the same status as alcohol - legalizing it for adults for all uses and removing it entirely from the medical and criminal control systems.” Dr. Lester Grinspoon.
"Cannabis as a treatment for cancer has been well documented in the scientific community, and every day there are more and more cannabis and cancer success stories”
True, and it is not the doctors and pharmacists creating these results, but the growers and beneficiators who risk everything to bring natural medicine to their clients, because the cure for cancer is still illegal.
"Ambrosini publically stated that he was pursuing an alternative treatment to his cancer”.
He obtained his medicine from an illegal source as so many others have. So did Mr. Stransham-Ford. Suppliers of Cannabis Oil and Cannabis users are currently still being arrested and tried countrywide. And yet those in power are able to use Cannabis opely without consequence?
During his speech in Parliament, Mr. Ambrosini stated "At this point, I shall not speak or vouch for such a treatment, nor discredit it. My death or survival will do so.”
Ambrosini’s death or survival can in NO way be an indicator of the Cannabis plant’s success or failure as a treatment for cancer. He knew he was dying when he started treatment and to say this implies that “illegal” Cannabis treatment is ineffective, and is sadly a wonderful endorsement for corporate medical and pharmaceutical plunder. The fact that he died from gunshot wounds to the head has been explained away as a “suicide pact” and yet the Coroner’s report is inaccessible. How come?
Further to the above the United States Dept. of Health and Human Services has held the worldwide patent to Cannabinoids since 2003, based on the research of Israeli Prof. Rafael Mechoulam. Much of the Federal Research showing successful results was recalled and repressed before Nixon instituted the infamous “war on drugs” i.e. AFTER the positive benefits were already known. This was done by an intense propaganda campaign run by the first U.S. Drug Czar, H. Anslinger. In fact there are still many U.S. Dept. of Health patients with terrible illnesses who can lead fully functional lives using smoked Cannabis cigarettes provided to them on a monthly basis, in perpetuity, by the U.S. Government, neatly rolled and delivered in a can. http://youtu.be/y0FgTqc4sGY
Patent No. 6630507, held by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, covers the use of cannabinoids for treating a wide range of diseases.
Under U.S. federal law, marijuana is defined as having no medical use. So it might come as a surprise to hear that the government owns one of the only patents on Cannabis as a medicine.
The patent (US6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” and was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003. It was filed four years earlier, in 1999, by a group of scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
What is Patent No. 6630507?
The patent claims exclusive rights on the use of cannabinoids for treating neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, and diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as heart attack, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and arthritis.
Cannabinoids are a diverse class of compounds that include many of the unique compounds found in marijuana (cannabis). A number of experts, including CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, have noted the contradiction between federal marijuana law and the government’s patent.
“The United States government owns a patent on marijuana as a medical application… So we have a patent through our Department of HHS on marijuana as a therapeutic and we also schedule it as a Schedule I (no medicinal value).”
The patent covers all cannabinoids (both synthetic and natural) and covers only a specific application of these cannabinoids and not the production or use of marijuana and cannabinoids overall.
Refer Plandai Biotechnology above "In addition, through Plandaí's agreement with North West University, South Africa, the company holds the world license to the Pheroid® patented entrapment system to deliver protected Phytofare™ antioxidants to the white blood cells” and it is easy to see who and what is trying to monopolise Cannabis production in this country and the globe.